Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Digging [Not] in the Crimson Quarry

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

I applied for a job as a sports writer for The Crimson Quarry. It’s a web site that calls itself “An Indiana Hoosiers Community.” It covers all Indiana University sports. It’s a neat name. Crimson is one of the IU colors, along with Cream, and IU & Bloomington are famous for the local limestone quarries, especially because of the film, “Breaking Away.”

They didn’t say anything about pay, so I assume there is none, but the site is run by a few guys in their 20s who write spiffily, and are not in residence in Bloomington. So they “advertised” for someone who could cover events in Bloomington. Perfect for me, since I now live in Bloomington and am a spiffy writer.

One problem; I am old.

That was something I thought I could add to the CQ mix, the historical perspective. I have followed IU sports since the 1951 national champion basketball team of Don Schlundt and Dick Farley, who was from Winslow, a neighbor town of my home, Oakland City. I saw Farley play when he was in high school. I’m the only follower of IU sports who can tell you what it’s like to turn a corner in Jordan Hall and come face to face with Walt Bellamy’s belt buckle.

Alas, it has been many months, and the CQ has not responded to my offer. Others in Bloomington have welcomed my presence. The History Department even did a feature on my return. Well, no surprise that historians would like old people. The people who run the academic programs in the residence halls have even taken me to lunch so they can gain the historical perspective on their field that only one who has lived through it can offer.

The CQ editors do not seem to have the same interest in the history. Could it be that, despite their spiffiness, they are biased against old people?

Age bias hardly ever takes the virulent forms that racism and sexism and religious bias often do, but it is just as prevalent. It is more a bias of omission than commission, simply not noticing that we exist, or at least not acknowledging us.

That is not all bad. It is a good reminder that we are human beings, not human doings. I don’t have to write about a baseball game for either it or me to have meaning. The game has meaning, and so do I, just because we are there. Regardless of how old we are, we are all still children, children of God.

John Robert McFarland

The picture is of the Pine Mountain ski jump in Iron Mountain, MI, the highest man-made ski jump in the world. I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter. I have a picture that is more appropriate now for Indiana, boys playing basketball in winter snow, but I have not yet figured out how to replace the ski jump picture with the basketball picture.

I tweet as yooper1721.


  1. I love it! We are human beings not human doings! Great article, good luck with the writing assignments!